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Old 05-21-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
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Infant placements and adoption

I've heard a lot about "low legal risk," and that sounds as if it would be a good fit for us. I have yet to talk to a SW about this detail.

We really don't feel capable of taking on a child with long-term medical needs. We really don't want to foster long-term (as in, once we adopt a baby/toddler, we do not--at this point--plan to expand our family). We do not have the financial ability to adopt privately, nor do we really want to given the number of babies in foster care.

I guess my question in all of this is... Are there placements of babies in foster care who do not have many special needs and are adoptable? Or do most bmoms now go the private adoption route?

Forgive me if any of this sounds ignorant or insensitive. I am seriously curious and want to know anything you can tell me. The foster/adopt information packet that came in the mail today from the county kind of freaked me out!

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Old 05-21-2008, 10:37 PM   #2
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Re: Infant placements and adoption

You should be able to let your SW know that you want a child with minimal health issues. However, realistically, all health issues may not be apparent or known. Most children in the foster care system are taken from their parents, not given up for adoption. This means that not all information is always known. We don't know who my adopted sister's father was. Nor do we know if her mother drank during pregnancy. We got her at 6 months old and she was taken at birth.
Another big thing you will want to be aware of is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). You will think that a 2 yr old child can't have this. They will tell you that the child is doing fine in their placement. In our experience, SW are very reluctant to admit RAD because it makes it much more difficult to find a placement for that child. And they may seem just fine for quite a while, usually until they feel more comfortable. Not all children in the foster care system are going to have RAD but it's something you should be aware of.
There are babies in the foster care sytsem that will be a low risk adoption with minimal health issues. You will just have to be very patient and as specific as you can be about your wants.
Good luck!
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:05 AM   #3
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Re: Infant placements and adoption

I have put my responses betreen . They are in the purple area and below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by curlie View Post
I've heard a lot about "low legal risk," and that sounds as if it would be a good fit for us. I have yet to talk to a SW about this detail.

We really don't feel capable of taking on a child with long-term medical needs. We really don't want to foster long-term (as in, once we adopt a baby/toddler, we do not--at this point--plan to expand our family).
There are 2 different ways you could go as a foster parent. You could be a regular foster parent of you could be a foster/adopt parent. Either one can adopt (regular foster parents will have to take another set of classes), but only children who the SW wants to be adopted will be placed with foster/adopt parents. These children will likely be legal risk, but the plan is adoption. We went the foster/adopt route, so we aren't even licensed to take regular foster kids if we wanted to. I am sure we could change our status and get approved if we want to someday.

We do not have the financial ability to adopt privately, nor do we really want to given the number of babies in foster care. My husband was in school and we were making less than $30,000 a year when we were approved to adopt. As long as you can provide for the child, they don't care much if you have a fairly low income. We got picked over a pretty wealthy older couple. I was initially concerned that they would think we didn't have enough money, so we tried to show that we were very responsible financially. Also, remember that social workers are making most of the decisions, and thay don't have much money either.

I guess my question in all of this is... Are there placements of babies in foster care who do not have many special needs and are adoptable?
Yes. I've got 2 healthy babies this way. 4 months and 23 months at placement (siblings placed at different times). You really need to network to find the kids. Adoption and foster parent support groups are good. I met a foster mother at the WIC office with a gorgeous 8 month old AA baby girl that was going to be available for adoption. I would have persued it, but I"ve already got my hands full. (All children placed through foster care qualify for WIC till they age out)

Or do most bmoms now go the private adoption route?

Forgive me if any of this sounds ignorant or insensitive. I am seriously curious and want to know anything you can tell me. The foster/adopt information packet that came in the mail today from the county kind of freaked me out!
As the previous poster mentioned, attachment is an issue, especially for kids that are more than a few months old. There are a lot of great books that can prepare you, so you can avoid the problems or fix them before it gets really bad. There are many things you can do to foster attachment. I read a lot of books, then just did a lot of the things that are supposed to treat RAD in order to prevent it in the first place. The best books are: Toddler Adoption by Mary Hopkins-Best, Adopting the Hurt Child, Parenting the Hurt Child, and Parenting Your Adopted Older Child (yes 2 is considered an "older child"). I can't remember some of the authors. If you do get a child with issues, The Child With Special Needs is very good. With all that said, my daughter (placed at 4 months) is very healthily attached. My son (placed only 5 weeks ago at 23 months) is doing spectacularly. We are sadly, his third placement due to gross ineptitude on the part of some unknown judges and social workers. However, he already loves me, my husband, and his baby sister. His attachment needs to grow more, but it is much better than expected. Many kids placed at that age, like their fathers better (maybe even hate their mothers) at first. My son wouldn't let my husband out of his sight for 2 weeks. Now he likes me almost as much as Daddy, and is Ok if my husband leaves for several hours. (My husband was between jobs, so we were able to devote lots of time to our son.) I would not recommend adopting a child who is at risk for attachment disorder if you will have to put them in daycare within the first year. I know some people have to use daycare, but it is a much bigger deal for newly adopted kids. It takes a lot of time with your child to build attachment, and they may have a lot more things to be afraid of than other children do.
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:12 AM   #4
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Re: Infant placements and adoption

I am a SAHM, so daycare isn't an issue. My husband's job allows him to work largely from home, so even if I were to go back to work part-time, he would be here. I've heard that about older adopted children and fathers. Very interesting. I wonder why that is. Anyway, that is okay, because my husband emotionally is actually much more prepared for the ins and outs of long-term foster care. I'm still unsure.

I will be calling the SW today to ask about demographic information. I'm not sure how many details she'll be able to give me, but I'm really interested in our chances before we jump head-first into this process (well, I guess we already have... so maybe I should say, "before we dive even deeper").
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:09 AM   #5
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Re: Infant placements and adoption

I wanted to add that we applied for about 50 different kids before we got our daughter. It can be a hard time.
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:06 AM   #6
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Re: Infant placements and adoption

We have 2 healthy, on target/advanced babies that were placed with us as foster to adopt. One straight out of the hospital, the other at 2 months old. They are not drug babies and they have no health/mental problems that we know of. Both have siblings that were adopted by their foster families and they (with the exception of one) are healthy also. We did foster one drug baby that ended up going with her Aunt. She was also healthy, small but nothing major.
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:44 PM   #7
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Re: Infant placements and adoption

I understand your fears, these fears bother me also. But I put it in God's hands that the right Child will be brought to us to fit our family. We are waiting on our first placement for Fost Adopt and have been waiting now for 3 months. I think it takes longer the younger and healthier you want in some states and counties. We are in CO. We have asked for 0-4, a girl, but open to a sib pair.
Good luck!
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:53 PM   #8
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:51 AM   #9
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Re: Infant placements and adoption

yes, you may not sleep with a foster child,,, and many states have age limits for when they must leave ur room... 1 or 2. this is often to protect the child if they have been abused or in a boundrieless enviroment. sleeping with a child wh o has been hurt, may evoke memories and cause more hurt.

NOW on the other hand.. we adopted our son via foster , we got him at 7 weeks from nicu and adopted him before he was 1 blessing!! he was a drugbabie... but seems fine at 2 alittle behind...I would bring him to bed as an infant. i coslept with my bios... but would not tell SW
It can be done,, just be wise, I always told the truth in the application process.. as I was afraid they would find out if i lied and that would cause the foster placement to be nul and void.. being in recovery from alcoholism was the biggest ? to me, but i told them...no prob (20 yrs tho).

we are continuing to foster , and hope to adopt once more, before im TOOOO old!!
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:17 AM   #10
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Re: Infant placements and adoption

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I don't mean to steal the thread but I had some questions about this, as well. DH and I really want to adopt but we can't afford an expensive adoption so we were looking into the foster to adoption route. The only thing is, I don't even know if we would get approved, mainly because of our parenting practices. For example, we co-sleep and have a family bedroom. I have heard from others that social workers look down on this. Does anyone know if that is the case? Does anyone have any good links for foster to adopt in California?
If you set up the house with beds for everyone, no one asks the kids where do you sleep, my friend fostered with a two bedroom house, she, her Dh and 3yo Ds all slept in one bed and the other room was for foster children (hers was obvious as there were 2 bedroom). No one seemed to care. It really depends on the social worker. We adopted the don't ask don't tell method of homestudy.
I never asked if it was OK to Cd have the babies in my room etc. I believe the CA guidelines say no co sleeping but you can have a baby up to two years in your room.


Our Dd came to us at 7mths in care form birth, drug exposed and has no sign/symptoms of drug exposure at all. The only thing we asked was no FAS babies. Here you are foster, then we got the adoption homestudy thought the state and our state worker was the one who looks for a baby for us, she put us forward for three before Dd. she was in our home 9mths after we had started the paperwork. adopted 7mths after that.
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